It’s no secret that recruiters spend between 4 and 10 seconds looking at your resume. When I’m actively recruiting for a specific role, I fall into that category. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I’m different. But, I will offer you all the tools and skills you need to make the best impression quickly.

Here are three things I expect to see straight away on my first pass:

Correct grammar and spelling

Nothing turns me off more than seeing a spelling error or a grammatical error on a resume. All modern resumes are created on a computer, and most jobs these days require some sort of computer literacy. It’s not a stretch to expect you to know where to find the Spell Check tool… and use it.

When we want something, we care and we commit. When I see basic errors, it tells me that you didn’t read what you wrote, or didn’t care enough to give it that extra 2 minutes of love. This is the easiest and fastest reason why I set a resume aside.

These types of errors doesn’t always mean that you didn’t care, but it still makes an impression. Candidates whose first language is not English nor French tend to make this mistake often. If you find yourself in this group, it’s even more important to get professional help to craft your resume. Our team will make sure that you avoid this very basic pitfall, and that you get your chance to shine in an interview.

Relevant skills

It is easy to get sucked into the countless resume templates and suggestions the internet has to offer. You know the ones – they seem to change every hour or so. Most of them start with some sort of aspirational goal at the top and then proceed to outline your work history.

Here’s where most of them fail.

Recruiters put in hours of work, writing a job post that will describe the ideal person for the job and the skills they posses. We get it approved by a group people who agree on the skills that the candidate needs to have to be successful. Before you, the candidate, ever see the job posting, much attention is being paid to the specific skills you need to demonstrate.

A basic expectation is that you have read the job posting. That’s a given, right? After all, it’s how you know that this may just be the right job for you.

Relevant work experience

Listen, we all have a checkered career path that has led us to now. I haven’t met one candidate who didn’t have an odd job here and there – but they don’t all need to appear on your resume.

When I’m doing a first pass, I want to know what your last position was and, beyond that, only the relevant roles you’ve held. I want to see the jobs where you developed the skills that will allow you to succeed in the role that I am looking to fill.

For example, if you’re applying for technical support roles and highlight your time as a tour guide, you distract from the purpose of the resume. Soft skills are important for the role, but it’s even more crucial that you are comfortable in a digital environment. Make sure you are prioritizing the right experience for the job you are applying for.

Hack your resume right now

Here is a fail-proof process to keep you focused and efficient.

As you read through a job posting that you’re interested in, go through the requirements section and the responsibilities/tasks section. For each point, write down an example that demonstrates that you either have the experience, or possess the skill.

Most times, you will end up using the same example for multiple points. That’s perfect. Choose your top examples and list the 3 skills that allowed you to succeed. It’s very likely, if not obvious, that those skills will appear in the “requirements” section of the job posting. Now, take those top 3 skills and write how they contributed to your success. Put them at the very top of your resume.

For example, let’s say the job posting is looking for someone organized and detail oriented (sound familiar?). At the top of a resume, I would expect to see one of the bullets say something like:

  • Entered, sorted and analyzed data to check for errors and inaccuracies in sales reports

This tells me that you have read the job posting, given it thought, and your resume starts by telling me why you would be the best person for the job. 

Bonus tip: Remember those examples that kept coming up? Pick two that highlight a wide array of what the job posting is asking for and that will make up the meat of your cover letter (if required).

Having said all this, if you have any doubt about the quality and effectiveness of your resume, I will review it for free.

Wait… go back and read that again. I said, FOR FREE. Send your resume to me, include the title of the role you would apply for with it, and I will do my first pass. I will share with you my feedback, with no strings attached.

If you choose us to optimize your resume and make you stand out, we are offering all new clients a 25% discount on all of our resume services.

Give us a call, and let’s get you hired.